COURTENAY, B.C- A police investigation is underway after a young man followed students walking home from school this week.

According to an email sent out from Lake Trail Middle School, the incident took place on Wednesday evening, while a group of students was walking home from school.

The group allegedly witnessed a 25 to 35 year old man with short, curly orange brown hair,masturbating in a sandy or gold Jeep Liberty. The vehicle was an older model of the Liberty.

“He made eye contact with the students and then started to follow them with his Jeep,” read the email.

“Please make sure to be vigilant, travel in groups, and report any related suspicious behaviour to the police directly, they are involved.  Any further information that we can share with you about the situation we will share under the guidance and direction of the RCMP.  Please do not hesitate to contact our school if you have any further questions.”

Mary Lee, the communications head for the local school district, confirmed the contents of the email, and said that the school district appreciated that a female student who had witnessed what happened told her parents about it.

That parent had phoned the school immediately, and the district has been notifying the parent community, neighbouring schools, along with students and staff.

“Our concern is student safety, so we’re letting students know to be extra vigilant, always report anything that is suspicious,” said Lee.

“When walking home in the evening buddy up, even when walking to and for school, and always play it safe.”

An exact time for when the incident is believed to have taken place is unavailable.

“Right now, it’s being treated as an isolated incident, but again it’s been turned over to the RCMP to look into,” said Lee.

“We’re going to heed their council, and follow any direction that they might have, including the sharing of further information, if they do have any, to our school communities.”

The local RCMP detachment had no additional information when approached for comment, but confirmed an investigation was underway.